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Entry-Level Driver Training; Public Listening Session

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Entry-Level Driver Training; Public Listening Session

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
December 19, 2012

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 245 (Thursday, December 20, 2012)]
[Pages 75491-75492]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30641]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2007-27748]

Entry-Level Driver Training; Public Listening Session

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public listening session.


SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it will hold a public listening session 
to solicit ideas and information on the issue of entry-level training 
for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, the 
Agency solicits input on factors, issues, and data it should consider 
in anticipation of a rulemaking to implement the entry-level driver 
training (ELDT) provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act, Public Law 112-141 (MAP-21). Wherever possible, the Agency 
requests that participants indicate whether the ideas identified are 
supported by research and data analyses, including cost/benefit 
considerations. The session, which will be held at the American Bus 
Association (ABA) Marketplace meeting in Charlotte, NC, will allow 
interested persons to present comments and relevant new research on 
ELDT. All comments will be transcribed and placed in the docket 
referenced above for FMCSA's consideration. The entire day's 
proceedings will be webcast.

DATES: The listening session will be held on Monday, January 7, 2013, 
from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and from 2:00-4:00 p.m., ET. If all interested in-
person participants have had an opportunity to comment, the session may 
conclude earlier.

ADDRESSES: The listening session will be held at the Charlotte 
Convention Center, 501 S. College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, (704) 
339-6000, in Room 207 A and B. In addition to attending the session in 
person, the Agency offers several ways to provide comments, as 
enumerated below.
    Internet Address for Live Webcast. FMCSA will post specific 
information on how to participate via the Internet on the FMCSA Web 
site at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/HOS-Listening-Sessions.aspx.
    You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2007-27748 using any of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received, without 
change, to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document management system 
is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you would like 
acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement 
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning the 
listening session or the live webcast, please contact Ms. Shannon L. 
Watson, Senior Advisor for Policy, FMCSA, (202) 385-2395.
    If you need sign language assistance to participate in this HOS 
listening session, contact Ms. Watson by Wednesday, January 2, 2013, to 
allow us to arrange for such services. FMCSA cannot guarantee that 
interpreter services requested on short notice will be provided.


I. Background

    In the early 1980s, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 
Office of Motor Carriers, predecessor to the FMCSA, determined that 
there was a need for technical guidance in the area of truck driver 
training. Research showed that few driver training institutions offered 
a structured curriculum or a standardized training program for any type 
of CMV driver. A 1995 study entitled ``Assessing the Adequacy of 
Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Training'' (the Adequacy Report) 
concluded, among other things, that effective ELDT needs to include 
behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction on how to operate a heavy vehicle.
    In 2004, FMCSA implemented a training rule that focused on areas 
unrelated to the hands-on operation of a CMV, relying instead on the 
commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills tests to 
encourage training in the operation of CMVs. These current training 
regulations cover four areas: (1) Driver qualifications; (2) hours of 
service limitations; (3) wellness; and (4) whistleblower protection. In 
2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 
held that the Agency was arbitrary and capricious in promulgating the 
2004 rule because it ignored the BTW training component aspect of the 
1995 Adequacy Report.
    In 2007, FMCSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 
seeking public comment on enhanced ELDT requirements (72 FR 73226). In

[[Page 75492]]

the NPRM, FMCSA proposed revisions to the standards for mandatory 
training requirements for entry-level operators of CMVs in interstate 
operations who are required to possess a CDL. The proposal would apply 
to drivers who apply for a CDL beginning 3 years after a final rule 
goes into effect. Following that date, persons applying for new or 
upgraded CDLs would be required to successfully complete specified 
minimum classroom and BTW training from an accredited institution or 
program. The FMCSA proposed that the State driver-licensing agency 
would issue a CDL only if the applicant presented a valid driver 
training certificate obtained from an accredited institution or 
program. The Agency indicated the rulemaking would strengthen the 
Agency's ELDT requirements in response to the 2005 DC Circuit Court 
    Since the publication of the NPRM, the Agency has completed its 
review of the public responses to the proposal and initiated new 
research concerning driver training. The Agency has also begun 
exploring new alternatives for mining Motor Carrier Safety Management 
Information System (MCMIS) data and Commercial Driver's License 
Information System (CDLIS) data to attempt to assess the safety 
performance of new CDL holders compared to that of more experienced CDL 
holders. In addition, in response to the public comments, the Agency 
has reexamined the regulatory options presented in the 2007 NPRM, as 
well as its estimates of the driver population who would be subject to 
the requirements. As a result, the Agency has concluded that additional 
stakeholder input will be useful in determining the most appropriate 
path forward for an ELDT rulemaking.
    Section 32304 of MAP-21 requires that FMCSA issue final ELDT 
regulations by October 1, 2013, establishing minimum ELDT requirements 
for operators of CMVs. The listening session at the ABA's Marketplace 
will provide an opportunity for motorcoach operators and other 
interested parties to share with FMCSA their ideas, especially as they 
relate to the training needs for individuals seeking a passenger 

II. Meeting Participation and Information FMCSA Seeks From the Public

    The listening session is open to the public. Speakers' remarks will 
be limited to 5 minutes each. No pre-registration is required. The 
public may submit material to the FMCSA staff at the session for 
inclusion in the public docket, FMCSA-2007-27748.

III. Alternative Media Broadcasts During and Immediately After the 
Listening Session on January 7, 2013

    FMCSA will webcast the listening session on the Internet. The 
telephone access number and other information on how to participate via 
the Internet will be posted on the FMCSA Web site at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/HOS-Listening-Sessions.aspx.
    FMCSA will docket the transcripts of the webcast and a separate 
transcription of the listening session that will be prepared by an 
official court reporter.

    Issued on: December 12, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-30641 Filed 12-19-12; 8:45 am]

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